OKLAHOMA CITY - Just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, residents near S.W. 25th and Goff heard a loud noise.
“Some neighbors in the area heard some loud sounds coming from over in this area and, when they realized that the building was collapsing, that’s when they called 911,” said Oklahoma City Fire Department District Chief Benny Fulkerson.
The roof of Greater Gospel Kingdom Church had completely caved in, leaving a giant hole.
Firefighters’ first priority was making sure no one was inside.
“We got inside very quickly yesterday, and we went through the whole thing to make sure nobody was inside and there was nobody,” Fulkerson said.
They had to then get the utilities shut down to prevent any further issues.
On Wednesday, firefighters were back out surveying the building and using it as a training opportunity to identify buildings that could potentially collapse.
“Cracks where you have in the corners, the bowing and you see where the crack above that window and on this corner. And, on the other side, you can see great separation in the cinder block, the load bearing part of the wall,” said Major Charley Baxter with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
A chain link fence went up to form a barrier around the building.
The walls are bowing out from the weight of the roof collapse, and firefighters don’t want anyone close in case the building further crumbles.
And, right now, officials have no idea why this happened.
“We don’t know what caused this. You know, it’s just one of those things that happens from time to time, and our firefighters have to be prepared for anything like this,” Fulkerson said.
The pastor of Greater Gospel Kingdom Church tells us they had just re-roofed in November and they also have no idea how this could happen.